Jews “are responsible for each other…” & our actions reflect on others

…it…brings to mind another expression, this time from the Talmud: “kol Yisrael arevim ze le’zeh.” It means that we are responsible for each other — physically, spiritually and morally. If we are supposed to be an extended family with a purpose, then when someone does something morally repugnant, it reflects badly on the family, in much the same way that we take collective pride in Jewish accomplishments. It does not mean that all members of the family are to blame. But it does mean that we have to go out of our way to build trust and repair the wounds of shame and embarrassment.

Misha Galperin, “One Bit of Good News From This Summer of Scandals”, The Jewish Week (30 August 2013), 29.

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